4th of July Fun

July 6, 2015

I’m pretty certain I had one of the best weekends I’ve had in a while over the 4th of July weekend. We did a little bit of house work, went on 2 good runs, and spent a lot of time with friends. I don’t think it could have been any better! One of our friends just bought a house with a pool and a great backyard on a lake, so we went to check out their new digs and help them break in their pool in the afternoon. Grant had so much fun, and we love watching him splash around and enjoy every minute. He is definitely a water baby! Here are a few photos from the afternoon. I hope you had a great holiday weekend, too!

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Summer Running Sucks

June 23, 2015

Summer running sucks.

There, I said it. Lately, I have been slogging it through my runs. I walk out the door to a sheet of heat and humidity, and immediately feel it take over. Throughout my run, I am usually thinking, why am I doing this? It’s summer, in Florida. 80 degrees at 9am, 90%+ humidity – this is the norm for us around here. Putting one foot in front of the other seems like an easy enough task, right? Well I guess it is, but putting any sort of speed behind those steps is a totally different story.

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Ok, so I’ve complained more than I probably ever here on this blog in this very post. I guess it makes me feel a little better. Putting my animosity towards summer running out there for the world to see. And now I can move on and keep running.

It’s the mediocre pace that makes me cringe. It’s  not the feeling of accomplishment after, or the mind clearing thoughts during the run. I let a number tell me how my run is going. A dumb pace that doesn’t even matter. I’m not training for anything so I have no target mileage or pacing to hit. I’m running just for me these days.

So, I’ll be taking the pace feature off of the home screen of my Garmin for the time being. It really doesn’t tell me anything I don’t already know these days – the heat is slowing me down, but that’s ok. At least I am getting out there and getting in that “sweat from places you didn’t even know ya had” type of runs. I’ll take it.

Because there is always that other thing I could do – not run. Not an option.

The Give & Grub food truck

June 17, 2015

Here in Tampa, everyone has been pretty excited about one thing – Lightning hockey. The team made it to the Stanley Cup, but ended up coming up short in the 6th game. Tampa did an amazing job hosting such an event, especially at Amalie Arena. If you were there for any of the games, you probably saw a distinguishable food truck – Give & Grub!

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The Laser Spine Institute partnered with the Tampa Bay Lighting, Metropolitan Ministries, and Feeding American Tampa Bay to create the Give & Grub food truck. Their goal is to “Stick it To Hunger” by giving one meal to underprivileged children in the Tampa Bay area for every meal the truck sells. Currently, the truck has sold over 75,000 meals – all of which had a meal donated into the Tampa community. I really believe this is a great initiative and something for the city to be proud of. A local company is partnering with a local sports team and local charities to make a difference in the local community. Pretty amazing, right?

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When I was asked to come give a few meals at the truck a try, I couldn’t resist. I work down the street from The Laser Spine Institute, where the truck is every Thursday, so it was very simple to get to. Even better, Meghann and I work in the same building, so we made a lunch date out of it! Heyyyyy Baby R!

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We each were able to try 3 different items, which was way tougher than I expected! There are so many tasty items to choose from, all named after Lightning players. Each entree is $9, which for gourmet food, is very reasonable.

Give & Grub Tampa MenuI ended up with the Chicken Parmkos sandwich, the Bishop bowl, and the Cooper’s candied burger. I opted to eat the burger all at once for my actual lunch, and I am so glad I did! It was absolutely delish and I was surprised at the portion size – it was very generous, as were all of the entrees. The sweet potato fries were really yummy and I loved the pumpernickel bread the burger came on. It spruced up the burger with such a minimal change from the norm.

Give & Grub burgerI was sure to taste the other entrees as well, but did end up taking them home for dinner. I just couldn’t have a few bites of each and be done with it. I had to make sure I ate each one, and was able to really enjoy it. The  Chicken Parmkos sandwich was incredible. I wouldn’t normally order chicken parmesan, but I am so glad I did. The flavor was great and the sandwich was HUGE!

Give and Grub chicken Parmkos

Last but not least, the Bishop bowl was good, but it wasn’t my favorite. The shrimp was yummy, but the rice itself was somewhat unimpressive. This entree did have a tofu option though, so for vegetarians, this would be a good choice.

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If you aren’t close to Laser Spine’s headquarters or aren’t able to make any of the Give & Grub food truck’s scheduled stops, you can actually request the truck to come to your place of business. It’s a pretty easy way to get an awesome lunch, and to help feed hungry kids in Tampa Bay.

Another really important note I want to mention is you can participate without having to actually purchase a meal. Just tweet out the #giveandgrub hastag, and a meal will be donated. It’s that easy!

Did anyone see the Give & Grub food truck out at Tampa Bay Lightning games? If so, did you give it a try?

The Friends Episode Treadmill Workout

June 15, 2015
Friends Treadmill Workout

I was talking to a friend over the weekend and he mentioned when running inside on a treadmill, his preference is to watch a tv show. It helps to keep your mind off of what you are doing and makes the time go by. Yea, of course, right?

Then he added in that during the commercials, he changes up his workout. He will add in an incline, a sprint, maybe a little bit a both – you get the picture. This got me to thinking what my preference would be for a tv show for a quick, lunch time workout where I can probably only squeeze in a 30 minute sitcom.

Friends is the first show to jolt to the top of my list! The average show is 22 minutes long (thank you Netflix), which will end up giving you a solid 8 minutes of hard work, on top of the actual episode. Take it up a notch, and think about common occurrences that consistently happen throughout many episodes.

Check out this workout the next time you hanging with Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Phoebe and of course, Joey. Start off by doing an easy warmup to get your muscles ready to go. In between intervals, continue to jog and lower your heart rate. If you need to walk to lower your heart rate, please do so.

Friends Treadmill WorkoutWhat common episode occurrences would you add to the list?

Lake Eola in Orlando

May 29, 2015

Last weekend, we made the 2 hour drive to Daytona Beach to go visit Marcus’ dad. We headed out Sunday morning, and returned first thing Monday morning to miss the holiday weekend traffic. Grant decided he didn’t feel like napping and he would rather cry some big crocodile tears, so we made a detour to Lake Eola in the heart of downtown Orlando.

Since we both went to UCF in Orlando, we had been to Lake Eola many times for different events. However, we’d never just gone on a whim, and definitely not to entertain a toddler. It was the perfect spot! We hit up the park for a few minutes when we first got there.

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Grant ran around a little bit, but quickly headed for the lake as soon as he was aware it was there. Not only is there a big lake, but it has a large fountain with all kinds of geese around it as well.

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Grant loved looking at the geese and ducks, as they really aren’t scared of people. We didn’t get too crazy close though – being they are so used to people, I wasn’t a fan of Grant getting too close. He trusts animals because of Winnie, so I think a little distance is a good thing.

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We only stayed for about 25 minutes or so, but it was the perfect amount of time for Grant to burn off some energy to sit in the car for another 90 minutes.

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I have a feeling we are going to be making this pitstop a regular occurrence when we go to visit Grant’s grandpa.

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Anyone else break up trips with fun stops in the middle for the kiddos?